I’m avoiding doing the dishes and taking out the trash, so let’s feel these feelings.
I’m too sentimental for my own good. Things that shouldn’t mean anything mean everything. Small bits that most people forget or overlook are the things I hold onto and cherish the most.
And hold on is exactly what I do. I keep and I collect and I tuck away in shoeboxes or cookie tins. I save maps from placed I’ve traveled too, ticket stubs from concerts I’ve attended, and even napkins from Club 33. But it’s not just little mementos. I hold onto the feelings and the moments and the experiences as well. I stash them away in my heart and keep them safe in my thoughts.
That’s why this move is so hard.
Any move is hard. Especially for someone so terrified of change like me. But this move isn’t just from one house to the next. I’m saying goodbye to everything 3029 was to me. I’m closing the door on a season that was so tiring and heartbreaking and exciting and loving and warm and terrible all at the same time.
Last month when I did laundry for the last time I collected my clothes and took a look around the laundry room. That would be the last time I ever did laundry in that place. The last time I would have to lug my dirty clothes across the apartment complex to clean them. So I stood there. And I said goodbye. It was the first goodbye.
Goodbye laundry room with your terrible dryers. Goodbye laundry room where I set one of those terrible dryers on fire. Goodbye place that is utterly meaningless, but somehow holds a special place in my heart.
The other night I was in the middle of scrubbing my hair when I stopped and thought how pretty soon I won’t be showering in this shower anymore. Then that thought jumped to how I wouldn’t be sleeping in this room anymore. Next was how I wasn’t going to cook in this kitchen anymore. And how there wouldn’t be a dining table anymore. No more spare room for napping. No more front porch bench to watch the sun go down. These were the collection of goodbyes.
Goodbye shower with the slippery floor. Goodbye bedroom where the morning light hits the bed so peacefully. Goodbye kitchen where I cooked so much pasta. Goodbye dining table that held my meals just as much as it held my junk. Goodbye spare room where the friends would sleep when they came to visit. Goodbye front porch where I would sit when I just needed to breathe.
The boxes are packed. The dining table is (hopefully) being sold. The days that I’ll be in this apartment are dwindling down to zero. And I can’t hold onto this physical space much longer, but I’m holding on tightly to everything that it meant to me.
It was the break I didn’t know I needed. An escape almost.
I didn’t want to live here. It wasn’t my first choice. It was just the only choice. I wasn’t planning on moving out of the Windward side. I definitely wasn’t planning on moving into town. But I had to and so I did. And in turn I grew to love it- I grew to love this space.
Because in the midst of the worst burnout of my career, I was living so close to work. Close enough that I could go to sleep way later than I should be and still get a solid 8 hours of sleep. Close enough that on my lunch breaks I could go home and poop in my own toilet. Close enough that I didn’t have to deal with commute traffic or being late to work (even though I was still always late to work). And because of that closeness, I could escape the burden of my exhausting job. I could rest and not even realize how much rest I was actually getting.
For that reason alone, I loved this place.
But on top of that, it was the house that became a home when every other friendship in my life seemed to fall apart.
It was the place we shared together. Not intentionally and not because we had planned it that way. But because it became our place. Our place to watch TV shows about utopian societies getting overrun by aliens. Our place to cook dumplings from scratch. Our place to sleep- and many other times not sleep. It was the escape from the broken friendships I was somehow too familiar with. Because somehow we did this home together.
And now it’s time to say goodbye.
Goodbye 3029. Thank you for being my home.